Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Neil L. Norman
The story of the past is told through modern interpretations at museums and historic sites across the world. Since the 1970's, scholars have critiqued western versions of history told at these sites as incomplete, often neglecting groups perceived to be at the edges of society (e.g. enslaved Africans, women, and lower-class workers). My project studies the response of one of America's most well known historic sites, Colonial Williamsburg, to these critiques. Recently, Colonial Williamsburg has introduced a new program of street theater performances, titled "Revolutionary City," designed to provide a more inclusive picture of life in Williamsburg and to increase visitor engagement. Utilizing Victor Turner's theories of anthropological drama and qualitative interview data gathered from visitor/viewers, my research asks: how does Revolutionary City function as a nationalistic, social drama? What sort of effect does the performance have on visitor/viewers? How does Revolutionary City work to provide redress for the crisis between an American past and present?
Dollarhide, Eli N., "That the Future may learn from the [reconstructed] Past': Nationalism and Social Drama at Colonial Williamsburg" (2013). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 599.
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